Stay Uncluttered

In an age of information overload and dissemination platforms you are literally bombarded through bits and pieces of content every microsecond. In a fast changing world and the pressure to stay up to speed with everything happening around has meant that each one of us has become a juggler of sorts. We juggle between mails and calls, calls and messages, messages and social media updates.....and this list is endless. We realise we are increasing our anxiety levels to catch every bit of info passing by, we struggle, get more anxious but never give up.  The syndrome has been termed as ' FOMO' - The fear of missing out. 


I am a victim too and continue to be one; have found some methods that have helped me not to be consumed by madness.

·       Mails : On an average most of us have at least one official and one personal mail ID (i may be underestimating the count). Try not to mix the two and don't juggle between them or leave them open at all times. While you get subscribed to a truck load of newsletters (you just need to register on a shopping site once. More often than not we don't take care to uncheck the mail contact option box), we voluntarily  subscribe to another bunch of them....all to keep updated and informed on the sector we work for or for general interest. More often i have realised there is quite a bit of common content in the mailers i receive. It is ok not to have a couple of them come to you. Allocate a time to check personal mails, may be half an hour at home.


·       Dealing with the 'cc': There are many mails where you don't have to be marked. Some do out of respect, some do because they feel you should know (not that you asked them for it), some are cc addicts. It isn't easy to coach someone what you want to know but you may casually inform them over a discussion why some of them were irrelevant to you. Slow process but effective in the long term.


·       The social media bug: It is not uncommon to find people being a part of at least ten different groups and of course it is considered natural to have several social media accounts. I have found most information is recycled over time, they travel across groups and through all perceivable platforms. So, if you missed something today, just be calm, they will reach you again soon. You can safely avoid checking these platforms every passing minute, it not only distracts a thought process but the fear of getting an accumulated message count of 10,000 is unnerving to say the least, leaving you restless. (i believe just twice a day is fine....yeah, too much to ask for....but give it a try).


·       Unlocking the fear: Remember, if you are reachable, you will get the information that is essential at the right place and at the right time. I do not take my cell to meetings or while moving around in office.....its a habit now and i don't think i missed much. Few measures have left my mail box largely uncluttered, allowing me better response time.


Yes, while typing this article i was distracted by the red blink on my phone....i could have avoided seeing it but as they say ' old habits die hard ' i checked it to find two forwards and to mass sms messages. I know....heavens don't fall but we all presume they do and they will. So inflicted with FOMO? 

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Categories: Leadership

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Suresh Ramakrishnan

Suresh Ramakrishnan is the Publishing Director at Haymarket ...

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